American History

Explore the development of the United States with this collection of articles about American history. Topics in this section include the American Revolution, the gold rush and the expansion of the West.

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Many states (or territories) that are now part of the U.S.A. were once independent, even if not recognized as such by other countries. We'll look at some of them.

By Alia Hoyt

The 2004 incident in Granby, Colorado, left half the town destroyed. Now 17 years later, Marvin Heemeyer, the man who piloted the tank that crushed the library and town hall, has become a hero to antigovernment extremists.

By John Donovan

Secretary of State Colin Powell came up with a framework of eight questions that the U.S. should say "yes" to before going to war. What were they, and are they still relevant?

By Kathryn Whitbourne

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The phrase "systemic racism" has become very widespread in the U.S. in the past year or so, but what does it really mean?

By Dave Roos

The United States still has five permanently populated territories. The 3.5 million residents are denied many of the same rights as mainland U.S. citizens. They want this to change.

By John Donovan

Since it was built in 1885, New York's famous Hotel Chelsea has been home to countless artists, writers, poets and creatives and its history is the stuff of legend.

By Nathan Chandler

In the 19th century, five Native American nations were given this title by the U.S. government because they adopted some of the practices of European Americans. Who were these tribes and what happened to them?

By Dave Roos

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Since the mid-1970s, vice presidents have had use of a mansion on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Observatory, a short distance from the White House.

By Patrick J. Kiger

Surfboards, huarache sandals and endless sunshine? Yes. But throw in some Conquistadors, a trashy Spanish novel, Black Amazons, mythological creatures and, of course, Charlemagne and — voilà — the name "California" is born.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

An alliance between well-meaning social reformers and land-hungry farmers resulted in a federal act that caused Native Americans to lose millions of acres of land they had once owned. Here's what happened.

By Dave Roos

Nathaniel Bacon led an armed rebellion in 17th century Colonial America against Gov. William Berkeley. The rebellion was brief but its ramifications changed the course of American history.

By Carrie Whitney, Ph.D.

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The British imposition of the Stamp Act in 1765 drew street demonstrations against the new law in the American colonies, resulting in its eventual repeal.

By Wendy Bowman

This war fought between the U.S. and its neighbor to the south is one of the bloodiest in America's history. So why is it so often forgotten?

By John Donovan

Some consider Shawnee leader Tecumseh to be one of the most remarkable Native Americans in history. He stood not just for the Shawnee. He stood for all Native Americans.

By John Donovan

President Abraham Lincoln signed into law that any person in the U.S. could have free land — 160 acres in fact. But there was a catch.

By John Donovan

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These towns, with all-white populations, may not be as blatant about their racism as they once were. But they're still here and being forced to face their ugly truth.

By John Donovan

Every state has a capital city, which houses the government where all the legislative action happens. How much do you know about these capitals? Take our quiz to find out!

By Alia Hoyt

The Truman Doctrine was an American foreign policy created to counter Soviet geopolitical expansion. But some consider it as the official beginning of the Cold War.

By John Donovan

Despite having a designated month for Black history, most students in the U.S. aren't taught about some of the most important people and events in Black history. Here are five that you probably never learned in school.

By Sarah Braud

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Many might think of cowboys as quintessentially part of the American fabric. And they are. But cowboys aren't an American phenomenon and they certainly didn't get their start in the U.S.

By John Donovan

The Battle of Little Bighorn, where Gen. George Custer took his 'last stand' was no tale of bravery or military strategy. But beer ads and wild west shows transformed it into a mythical story of 'good' versus 'evil.'

By Dave Roos

The White House Rose Garden has been the scene of many history-making events, but the story of its creation is a fascinating tale in itself.

By Wendy Bowman

Harpers Ferry is known as the spot where John Brown launched his disastrous slave rebellion. But why was this town also a transportation and ammunitions powerhouse?

By John Donovan

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The Hatfield and McCoy family names are recognized for one thing: fighting for decades between them. But what were they so angry about and why so many years of feuding?

By John Donovan

Annie Oakley got her gun and used it to become the leading lady of the American West. She could outshoot and outride most male cowboys of her time. And she did it all while in a Victorian dress.

By John Donovan